A feature of the 2011-2012 Premier League season has been the antics both on and off the field of Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.
From lighting fireworks in his bathroom to being double goal hero against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Balotelli has consistetly hit the front and back pages of the papers this year.
But the latest chapter in the career of Super Mario could well be his last.
His 87th minute sending off against Arsenal has hit a nerve with his manager Roberto Mancini, who has responded to the incident by claiming that Balotelli will play no part in City’s final 6 games of the season and could be sold at the end of the season.
Mancini said “I need to be sure I always have 11 players on the pitch and with Mario this is a big risk”. So it would seem that 13 goals from 22 Premier League games is not enough to please the Manchester City manager, and that 2 red cards a season is too much, despite the players obvious talent.
It is the baggage that comes with Balotelli that makes him a handful for a manager too. From controversial celebrations, to pictures of him leaving strip clubs in the middle of the night before a game, he even was spotted wearing an AC Milan shirt while playing for San Siro rivals Inter!
And so while the quality of the striker is not in question, his passion, commitment and the baggage he brings causes his manager a whole world of problems.
So the next question is who would buy him?
If Roberto Mancini is keen to sell him, they have to find a club who would take what would be a massive risk in signing him.
If I were a Premier League manager I wouldn’t go anywhere near Mario Balotelli. Why give yourself the stress when there are players who, while they may lack some of his natural talent, will give so much more to the team?
I don’t think there’s a team in the Premier League who would go for Balotelli, especially after his antics this season, so a move abroad in the summer looks like the only option. And sadly, this means we may have seen the last of the firework lighting, petrol paying, dart throwing, bib hating, high fiving, school bully mediating, women’s prison visiting striker in the Premier League.
Why always you Mario? Take a look in the mirror and find out.
What do you think about Mario Balotelli? Do you think he should leave Man City? Where will he be playing next season? Comment below and let me know what you think!